Transformation of the Day: Melissa lost 152 pounds. Her journey began when the pounds started to affect her health seriously. She developed a hiatal hernia that caused GERD and several other issues. Her doctors suggested Gastric Bypass. After having surgery in 2019, she took steps to transform her life and realized her dream of becoming a runner.
I was overweight for most of my life. A few years ago, the weight began to affect my health seriously. I developed a hiatal hernia that was causing GERD. I regurgitated almost everything I ate, I couldn’t sleep, and I was in a lot of discomfort.
I saw several doctors and weighed in at 379 pounds. The doctors felt Gastric Bypass was the answer, so I had surgery on Sept 26, 2019. As soon as allowed to, I began working out, practicing yoga. Eventually, I started pursuing my dream of becoming a runner.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve lost 152 pounds. I am extremely transparent about my journey and hear from women all the time who want to change their lives as well. My next goal is to lead exercise classes via Zoom for family and friends! I am loving life!
What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
I would remember how unhappy and uncomfortable I was in my body. Knowing what a gift the surgery was, I didn’t want to squander that gift or continue being unhappy.
How did you change your eating habits after surgery?
Bypass surgery greatly restricts what and how much you can eat at first. With time though, as the stomach heals and expands. Also, food choices are extremely important. I followed a high protein/low carb diet. I stopped consuming all processed carbs & sugars and drank water only for a long time. The plan requires that I eat protein first, followed by veggies and then fruit if needed/desired. Today, I can handle some “treats” occasionally now but still try to follow the original plan for the most part.
How many days a week did you work out in the beginning?
I couldn’t work out for the first six or so weeks except for walking, which I did almost daily (even if it was just matching in place). I have always dreamed of being a runner, so I began training for that after about six months. I currently run 3 – 4 days a week and strength train at least three days a week.
What is your current weight?
What is your height?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
That my body is capable of far more than I ever believed possible. My fears and insecurities were the things stopping me, not a lack of ability.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
To give themselves grace. Society is so hard on women. From unrealistic beauty standards to ageism, we are simply not encouraged to embrace and love ourselves as we are. Once we begin to do that, even in the smallest way…
- once we are kind to ourselves
- once talk to ourselves with love and compassion
- once we give ourselves as many chances as we need to succeed without condemning ourselves (or each other),
- once we make ourselves and our health a priority, and
- once we give ourselves grace… Anything is possible!
Then we can find the eating and exercise plan that works for us (because it’s different for everyone) and do what it takes to succeed. The inner work is just as, if not more important, than the physical.
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